Does this picture look familiar to you? If you’re nodding and smiling, that’s probably because you recognize it from the famous Facebook for kinksters, Fetlife. A haven for the deliciously depraved, Fetlife brings communities together to explore BDSM, facilitating the creation of playspaces, conferences, and sexy connections.
Recently, Fetlife has come under fire for a clause in their policy which does not allow members to accuse other users of criminal activity in the public forums. This includes any inappropriate or harmful behavior that members may have encountered while meeting fellow kinksters in meatspace.
[Fetlife created Baku] does not deny the murky nature of the issue when discussing Fetlife’s decision to take down the posts. He admits it is a “tough situation” but essentially gives three reasons behind Fetlife’s actions: 1) legal concerns, 2) the possibility of false accusations, and 3) fear of giving users a false sense of security…
…[Fetlife user Kitty Stryker] wants users to have the capability of protecting themselves by having a blacklist for reference before meeting with other users in person, Baku is concerned that having this list will give members a false sense of security within the community and prevent them from going to the police when a crime has been committed by providing them with a more convenient method of obtaining justice in the forums. It is understandable why members might want to use Fetlife rather than the criminal justice system where there is no guarantee that members will be given a fair trial.
Is this a necessary safety precaution, or a move that hurts more than it protects? Our staff writer Jaclyn weighs in on this complicated but relevant issue in this week’s Food For Thought.
What do you guys think?
I think that this:
Before addressing reason 3 which is, in my opinion, the most plausible justification for Fetlife’s decision, I must admit that I have my own reasons for wanting to avoid public accusations of criminal acts on Fetlife. As a current member of the site, I am terrified that Fetlife will allow these posts, not because I wish to hide abuse that occurs within our community, but because I do not want outside individuals to further perpetuate exaggerations of violence in BDSM.
mirrors the stance of another BDSM PR organization - the NCSF. And it’s busted.
It is irresponsible to sweep the actual abuse happening in our community under the rug because it might make the community look bad. Didn’t work for the Catholic Church, and it didn’t work for Penn State. Not in the long run.